How New Jerseyans plan to change their spending habits in 2016
A new report finds many New Jerseyans plan on changing their spending and saving habits in 2016.
The survey, released by Bank of America and Merrill Edge, finds that many people intend to spend less and save more. Here are some of the findings:
- 69 percent of respondents say they’ll spend less next year;
- 58 percent indicate they will be saving more; and
- 54 percent say they will invest more.
Ernesto Marques, a New Jersey-based Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor, says the report also finds “two of the top things that New Jerseyans were comfortable spending more money on was a home and a car - they feel these are more long term investments for themselves.”
The survey also finds 33 percent of Jersey residents are also willing to take on debt to help their kids pay for college.
“I think that stems a lot from the fact that we do live in New Jersey,” he said. “Our cost of living is a little bit higher than other parts of the country, and also from the fact that education is expensive in our area.”
There are a few things, however, that the survey shows would make New Jerseyans uncomfortable when it comes to their finances:
- 96 percent of New Jersey residents would not be comfortable going into debt;
- 96 percent of New Jersey resident would not be comfortable spending beyond their means;
- 93 percent would not be comfortable putting off retirement savings; and
- 86 percent would not be comfortable making expensive purchases.
At the same time however, some respondents think spending big bucks may be justifiable for a variety of things:
- 4 percent think it’s worthwhile to go into debt for moving expenses;
- 8 percent think it’s worthwhile to go into debt for a wedding;
- 9 percent will spend a lot of money for technology;
- 17 percent will spend a lot of cash for a vacation;
- 20 percent will open their wallets for their own for education; and
- 27 percent think it’s worthwhile to spend a lot of money for home improvements.
Marques said the survey also finds about half of those polled indicate once they retire “they would not be willing to move in with say, a family member to reduce those expenses, also 3 out of 10 respondents said they would not be willing to move to a less expensive area during retirement years.”
The report also finds 22 percent of those who responded would not be willing to work part-time during retirement.
A statement from the company says the Merrill Edge telephone survey was conducted Braun Research Inc. The survey was conducted from Sept. 8-20 and consisted of 1,001 mass affluent respondents throughout the U.S., defined as individuals with "investable assets" (value of all cash, savings, mutual funds, CDs, IRAs, stock, bonds and all other types of investments excluding primary home and other real estate investments).
In addition, those surveyed were "millennials" between 18 and 34 years old with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000 or those aged 18 to 34 who have investable assets between $20,000 and $50,000 with an annual income of at least $50,000. Others polled were 35-plus with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000.